On paper meal planning looks so easy, but in reality it can be a challenge. Knowing what to buy and how much, when to cook, and trying to please everyone’s tastes can really add up!
I found it so hard, and still find i hard to meal plan for my family and provide them with healthy, balanced meals. So after a lot of trial and error, here are some tips I have found helpful when it comes to meal planning for your family:
1. Start by making a weekly meal plan – this will help you stay organized and save time. Make sure you include breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner options. If you are feeling ambitious, try creating an entire month’s menu!
2. Take inventory of what you already have on hand – look at the pantry, fridge and freezer so you don’t buy duplicates. This will also help you save money and reduce food waste.
3. Plan meals around what is on sale – take advantage of in-season produce and watch for deals at your local grocery store or farmer’s market.
4. Cook once, eat twice – double up on recipes to get multiple meals out of one cooking session. For example, if you make a big pot of chili, use the leftovers as taco filling later in the week.
5. Leave room for spontaneity – life happens! Don’t be afraid to switch things up throughout the week or even add something new that caught your eye while grocery shopping.
6. Consider everyone’s tastes – make sure to include meals that everyone in the family will enjoy.
7. Prepare ahead of time – take a few hours each week to cook and prep some meals for the upcoming days. This can save you a lot of time during the week when things get busy!
8. Make it fun – involve your kids, spouse in planning and prepping meals, it can be a great bonding experience.
9. Get creative with leftovers – don’t let them go to waste, use them up in soups and casseroles or serve them as side dishes throughout the week.
10. Use online delivery (if you can) – if you don’t have the time to go grocery shopping, take advantage of online delivery services that can save you a lot of hassle.
These tips have really helped me stay organized when it comes to meal planning and cooking for my family. I hope they will help you as well!
1. What is the best way to meal plan for my family?
The best way to meal plan for your family is to start by making a weekly or monthly menu, take inventory of what you already have on hand, look for deals at your local grocery store or farmer’s market and double up on recipes.
2. How can I save time when it comes to meal planning?
You can save time when it comes to meal planning by preparing meals ahead of time and taking advantage of online delivery services (if available).
3. Are there any tips for making meal planning fun?
Yes! Involve your kids, spouse in planning and prepping meals-it can be a great bonding experience. Also, don’t be afraid to switch things up throughout the week or even add something new that caught your eye while grocery shopping.
Our favourite meals
1. Rice – This versatile grain is an easy and delicious way to feed your family. It’s a great base for curries, casseroles, stir-fries and so much more.
2. Spaghetti Bolognese – This classic Italian dish is a family favourite and incredibly easy to make. Serve it with a side of garlic bread and you’ve got dinner sorted!
3. Quesadillas – loaded with cheese and veggies, these are great for quick lunches or snacks on-the-go.
4. Mexican tacos – another crowd-pleaser, this one is fast, fun and flavourful!
5. Baked protein (chicken/ fish) – for the health-conscious family, this is a great way to get protein on the table. Serve it with some roasted vegetables and you’ve got a balanced meal.
6. Roast dinner – nothing beats a classic Sunday roast dinner with all the trimmings.
7. Curry – a great way to use up leftovers, curries can be varied based on preferences and ingredients you have on hand.
8. Smoothie bowl – this is one of our favourite breakfast options- it’s healthy, delicious and takes no time at all to make!
9. Fried rice – a great way to use up leftover vegetables or protein and turn them into something new and exciting.
10. Roast vegetables – an easy side dish that goes with just about anything! Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in the vegetables and adds flavour to any meal.
We also got an air fryer recently , so we’ve been experimenting with a lot of recipes- it’s so much fun!
Meal planning can be overwhelming but with the right tips, tricks and a bit of creativity you can make delicious meals your family will love! Happy cooking!